A Timely message of Mercy

Posted Apr 13, 2019 by Ruben Olschewsky in General Hits: 305

Messages based on time:

Running out of time: example

  1. Running late for opening Sabbath?
  2. Waiting for Dad to come home when you have done something wrong?
  3. Ever waited for someone you love to arrive?
  4. Ever experienced a broken promise? Broken trust?

Matthew 24:9, 14, 22.

Matthew 24  an outline of time is given but specifics are withheld

What is the impact of time setting?

Why Christ shielded the disciples from the full picture:

Christ’s words [Matthew 24:2] had been spoken in the hearing of a large number of people, but when He was alone, Peter, John, James, and Andrew came to Him as He sat upon the Mount of Olives. “Tell us,” they said, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” { LDE 32.1}

Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled the description of these two events. Had He opened to His disciples future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight. In mercy to them He blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves.—The Desire of Ages, 628 (1898). { LDE 32.2}

 

Notice what would happen when we focus on a time message:

We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.... Why has not God given us this knowledge?—Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to live upon time excitement.... { LDE 33.1}

God wants us to be ever prepared:

You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years.—The Review and Herald, March 22, 1892. { LDE 33.2}

We are nearing the great day of God. The signs are fulfilling. And yet we have no message to tell us of the day and hour of Christ’s appearing. The Lord has wisely concealed this from us that we may always be in a state of expectancy and preparation for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven.—Letter 28, 1897. { LDE 33.3}

The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God’s mystery.—The Desire of Ages, 633 (1898). { LDE 33.4}

Repeated proclamation of time periods

We are not of that class who define the exact period of time that shall elapse before the coming of Jesus the second time with power and great glory. Some have set a time, and when that has passed, their presumptuous spirits have not accepted rebuke, but they have set another and another time. But many successive failures have stamped them as false prophets.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 335 (1895). { LDE 34.1}

God gives no man a message that it will be five years or ten years or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close. He would not give any living being an excuse for delaying the preparation for His appearing. He would have no one say, as did the unfaithful servant, “My lord delayeth his coming,” for this leads to reckless neglect of the opportunities and privileges given to prepare us for that great day.—(The Review and Herald, November 27, 1900) . { LDE 34.2}

What is the preparation here spoken of?  Character development!

Other Consequences:

Unbelief the result in the world

Because the times repeatedly set have passed, the world is in a more decided state of unbelief than before in regard to the near advent of Christ. They look upon the failures of the time-setters with disgust, and because men have been so deceived, they turn from the truth substantiated by the Word of God that the end of all things is at hand.—Testimonies for the Church 4:307 (1879). { LDE 34.3}

There will always be false and fanatical movements made by persons in the church who claim to be led of God—those who will run before they are sent and will give day and date for the occurrence of unfulfilled prophecy. The enemy is pleased to have them do this, for their successive failures and leading into false lines cause confusion and unbelief.—Selected Messages 2:84 (1897). { LDE 35.2}

I plainly stated at the Jackson camp meeting to these fanatical parties that they were doing the work of the adversary of souls; they were in darkness. They claimed to have great light that probation would close in October, 1884. I there stated in public that the Lord had been pleased to show me that there would be no definite time in the message given of God since 1844.—Selected Messages 2:73 (1885).

The books of Daniel and the Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one a book sealed, the other a book opened. John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them. The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. In the order of God, most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work. This is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer. { 1MR 99.2 } Speaking of Revelation 10:4-6

This time which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord. That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844. The angel’s position with one foot on the sea, the other on the land signifies the wide extent of the proclamation of the message. It will cross the broad waters and be proclaimed in other countries, even to all the world. The comprehension of truth, the glad reception of the message is represented in the eating of the little book. The truth in regard to the time of the advent of our Lord was a precious message to our souls.—Manuscript 59, 1900, 8, 9. (“Jots and Tittles, II,” August 16, 1900.) { 1MR 100.1 }

Consider the effect during this disappointment:

  • unsettled faith amongst many EW256.3
  • (specifics of William Miller EW257.1)
  • during preaching on time 1854, we are told that many who were convinced and supported the work were so disillusioned by the failed time that they gave up truth and error and were in a condition that made them almost impossible to reach. (4bSG 151.1)

The Spirit that has attended the 1854 time setting events;

A spirit attended the proclamation of the 1854 time which was not of God. It was a noisy, rough, careless, excitable spirit. Noise was considered by many the essential of true religion, and a spirit reigned, the tendency of which was to bring all down upon a low level. This was considered by many humility. But if their peculiar views were opposed, they would fly in a moment, and accuse those who did not agree with their ideas of things, of being proud, and of resisting the truth and the power of God. They would manifest an overbearing spirit. { 4bSG 151.3 }

Time based message savours of selfishness:

The shortness of time is urged as an incentive for us to seek righteousness and to make Christ our friend. This is not the great motive. It savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. He says to you, I am the Lord thy God; walk with me, and I will fill thy path with light. Jesus, the Majesty of Heaven, proposes to elevate to companionship with himself those who come to him with their burdens, their weaknesses, and their cares. He will make them his dear children, and finally give them an inheritance of more value than the empires of kings, a crown of glory richer than has ever decked the brow of the most exalted earthly monarch.RH August 2, 1881, par. 6

So what is our Message?

Romans1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Matthew 26:13

13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial (a testimony) of her.

What is the story of this woman? One who felt condemned and saw in her healer, at first, an adversary (Jesus said “let him who is without sin first cast a stone at her”)and then one who did not condemn her.

Same for the Samaritan woman at the well

And the Same for Jacob in His night of wrestling.

The religion of Christ will take away all the ruggedness of the character, and will melt and subdue the soul. It is the Spirit of God that we need. Let the work begin by turning to the Lord with full purpose of heart, that the heart may be softened, and that Christ may mould and fashion you after his own divine image. But many feel that they cannot go to Jesus in confidence. They say, “It does not seem as though God heard my prayers. I have tried and tried to rid my soul of sin, but I cannot do it.” Then say, “Lord, I am powerless to cleanse and save myself, and I cast my helpless soul on thee.” That is what Jacob did. All night long he had been wrestling with One whom he supposed was his enemy; but it was the great I AM, the mighty God, the Prince of peace; and just as long as he continued his wrestling, he found no comfort, no hope. It was a life-and-death question with him, and his strength was almost exhausted. Then the Angel touched his thigh, and he knew that he wrestled with no common adversary. Wounded and helpless, Jacob fell upon his bosom, just as you and I must do, just as any soul does when he falls upon the Rock and is broken. “Let me go for the day breaketh,” pleaded the angel; but Jacob ceased not his intercession, and Christ had to make terms with this helpless, broken, penitent soul, in accordance with his own character: “And let him take hold of my strength, and make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Our precious Saviour cannot tear himself away from a soul wounded and helpless, and crying unto him for aid. Jacob pleaded with determined spirit, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Who was it that inspired this spirit of persistence?—It was He who wrestled with the patriarch: it was He who gave him the victory, who changed his name from Jacob to Israel, and said, “As a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed.” { BEcho February 15, 1892, par. 3 }

 

So the followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God’s word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory—His character—is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom’s home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb. { COL 414.2}

 

It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. { COL 415.3}

This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, “O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” Isaiah 40:9, 10. { COL 415.4}

Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. { COL 415.5}